A Field of Dreams

As I said in my first blog entry, this ongoing project would be an effort to share insights and to let each of you know how I think and work. I just finished watching “A Field of Dreams,” a film I had not seen for many years.

I was struck by the intensity of feeling portrayed in the film as the characters followed dreams and voices fueled only by faith and hope. In the end, their efforts were rewarded by experiences they could not have anticipated.

However, this blog is not so much about the film but to share with you my reactions to it. For those of you who do not know, “A Field of Dreams” centers around baseball and the associations people in film had with it. I also grew up with baseball as a backdrop and felt the emotions welling up inside me as I saw the story unfold and followed the insights that emerged for the characters. In many ways, watching the film and allowing myself to become involved in my emotional reactions to it is a metaphor for how I work as a therapist and what I believe about therapy.

As I sit with you and develop a relationship, I listen intently to your life story and to learn about what is important to you and to experience the feelings that the story generates. In so doing, I gain an intimate understanding of your concerns and am better able to assist you. I also share my self-awareness with you to let you know that I am in tune with you.

In the introduction to this piece, I shared with you how powerful my memories associated with baseball are. I reiterate this because people often ask me, “Why is it so important to deal with the past?” The answer is that the past can be a key ingredient in the work, because, like me, many folks have strong associations with things that have happened to them as they develop. Moreover, sometimes, they may even be unaware of the strength of past experiences on current behavior.

What I do in my work is to pay attention to both the present and past and help you to weave together an intricate tapestry whose function is to help you make sense of what is currently going on in your life. The past can also be a key to understanding your behavior patterns that are ineffective. In such a case, our work is to help you “unlearn” patterns from the past and replace them with ways of being that are appropriate for your life and relationships of today.

However, as suggested throughout this brief piece, positive change may begin with addressing your feelings that may be a product of past experiences and gaining insights that will help you move beyond what has come before. My role is this process is to join with you and share with you what I learn as we spend time together. This is what I believe, and this is how I work.

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